Over the course of 2020, the Village of Chase will be working to develop a new Official Community Plan (OCP). OCP’s are important, future-oriented documents for municipalities. They provide a vision and supporting policies for how a community is to develop in the future. Perhaps most importantly, the OCP communicates to the community, developers, senior government agencies, industries, businesses and other stakeholders how Chase wishes to evolve into the future. Chase’s last OCP was developed in 2002.
The 2020 OCP is an opportunity to develop a plan that enables the community to not only survive, but thrive, as the community evolves. As mentioned, Chase’s last OCP was adopted in 2002. Typically, OCPs are reviewed every five years or so depending on the community dynamic (i.e. significant changes in development, planning, population, etc.). It is timely to update Chase’s OCP for a number of reasons in order to prepare the community for the future. The previous OCP does not account for changes in legislative requirements for OCPs, such as requirements for greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets, nor does it account for key changes in the community since that time including:
Since 2002, issues that were typically more prevalent in larger communities have started to be considered in smaller communities. These include topics such as affordable housing, climate change adaptation and mitigation, food security and health and wellness (including mental health and addictions). While many of these issues are outside of the direct jurisdiction of local governments to address, pressures from residents within communities, as well as increased reliance on collaboration with senior government agencies to address these issues, means that local governments, even in smaller communities, are dedicating some resources to these issues. An OCP can provide the policy direction for the local government in terms of how to address these issues that are outside of its jurisdiction.
At a national and global level, there are many other issues that are either already impacting Chase or have the potential to impact the community that need to be reflected in the OCP. These include:
At a practical level, there have been instances where an updated OCP would have been helpful. Recently, the proposed development of waterfront lands was met with resistance in the community. A few years ago, the potential development of a biomass energy plant in Chase was met with resistance and ultimately did not proceed. While these issues will inevitably happen as new opportunities for development present themselves, a more up-to-date OCP will ensure that decisions on these developments are made with a more current understanding of the vision for Chase and the policy framework to help achieve that vision.
There are a number of issues that the OCP either has to address or can address. These issues include, but are not limited to:
The OCP will be a key communications tool to the community, potential developers, senior government agencies, industry and business, and others about how Chase wants to evolve in the future. The OCP will also provide direction for other plans and policies that are used for the planning, development, and operation of the community. This would include the Zoning Bylaw, the Subdivision Development Servicing Bylaw, parks and recreation programming, etc.
A work program and schedule has been developed which emphasizes meaningful public consultation throughout the process and efficiency in completing the bulk of the work in 2020. The process can be summarized into the following:
– Developing a communications and engagement strategy
– Undertaking a community survey to seek initial input on key community issues Click here
Phase 2 Background Data Collection (ongoing)
– Collect and summarize relevant community data on a wide range of issues
Phase 3 Community Planning Week (dates to be confirmed – likely late March/early April)
– The project consultants would lead a comprehensive consultation process over the course of one week in Chase. The process would include:
Phase 4 Develop Draft of OCP (Spring/Summer)
– based on consultation, the draft of the OCP will be developed
Phase 5 Approval Process (Fall/Winter 2020)
– Referral of the OCP to local First Nations and to key agencies
– First and second reading
– Public hearing
Stay tuned to this website. For more information or to provide comments, please contact:
Sean O’Flaherty, Corporate Officer